Vitoria SC 1-1 Arsenal: 5 talking points and tactical analysis | Europa League 2019-20
Bruno Duarte's late acrobatics ensured a well-deserved point for Vitoria SC as they held a lacklustre Arsenal to a 1-1 draw, after Shkodran Mustafi's 80th-minute header had the visiting side in the driver's seat.
Ivo Vieira's side were clearly the brighter side in the opening exchanges of the fixture, and had the Gunners on the ropes. They produced the better football, and were unlucky at times to not have taken the lead.
However, after what turned into a spiritless game for the majority of the second half, a late spark resulted in a frantic flourish - led by the home team's spearhead in Duarte. The crucial point for Vitoria put an end to Unai Emery's perfect Europa League record this season, as well as delayed their potential qualification to the knockouts.
On that note, we discuss the five major talking points from Arsenal's draw against Vitoria.
#1 Arsenal set up with three at the back as Emery makes eight changes
The Gunners made no fewer than eight changes to the side that shared the spoils with Wolverhampton Wanderers last weekend.
The young Rob Holding was asked to don the captain's armband in the absence of the now-skipper Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. Partnering him on either side of a back three were Sokratis and Mustafi.
Emiliano Martinez, who kept his side in the game early on with a slew of spectacular saves, started in goal. Meanwhile Kieran Tierney and Ainsley Maitland-Niles plied as wing backs, and Dani Ceballos and Joe Willock manned the heart of midfield.
On the ball, the visitors held a 3-4-3 configuration, with the wing backs wider and more advanced and the forward three operating in close proximity with one another.
Nicolas Pepe, who made an instant, heroic impact off the bench in the reverse fixture, occupied his favored right wing spot, whereas Bukayo Saka joined him on the other flank.
The in-form forward Gabriel Martinelli led the line, as Alexandre Lacazette was confined to a place on the bench.